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Your 'Food Porn' Verdict? Keep The Photos Coming

Snarky comedians who mock people who share food photos on Facebook and Twitter (see this video) may be good for a chuckle, but they don't have the will of the people behind them.

That's what we've learned from our online survey this week, which asked: "Are your friends bombarding you with 'food porn'?"

Of the 9,000 people who voted, about 47 percent responded with a resounding, "No!" It seems this group enjoys seeing what their friends are eating and cooking. And we'd wager (based on our unscientific survey of comments and tweets) that many of them are snapping photos themselves.

Still, it seems there is a pretty healthy contingent of people who are fed up with food photo sharing — some 28 percent of respondents. And another 25 percent of you said you don't feel that strongly one way or another.

TreenaClark, who commented on our post, gave voice to the dissenters: "It drives me nuts when I go to Sunday brunch and there will be somebody in my coterie taking photos of all the drinks and dishes as they get served," she writes. "My husband and I enjoy long leisurely meals, wine and conversation with friends. But the food porn gets in the way all the time."

As for those in the pro-food porn category, one reader and writer,
Michelle Venetucci Harvey, helped us understand what these photos mean to her in a nice post on her blog Spinning Spoons.

Venetucci Harvey has celiac disease, which can make dining out and cooking at home a struggle given the wheat-filled world that we live in. She writes:

When I would get frustrated that I couldn't eat somewhere, or didn't know what to eat, all I had to do was envelop myself in an online community bursting with inspirational photos, stories, and flavor combinations.

So I started cooking, and taking photos of my food. I also realized that the more I talked about food and flavors, the more I could appreciate the food I was eating. The same went for photos - the more I was able to create aesthetically pleasing arrangements and color combinations, the better the food seemed to taste.

JustAnnie, another commenter, distinguishes between worthy and unworthy food porn. "If it's actually really pretty food, I don't mind," she writes. "It's when they start posting their morning bowl of Corn Flakes that I start hiding people [on Facebook]."

claireOOTO wrote this for the food porn opponents: "If you don't want to look, don't look! Surely the ability to ignore unwanted messages on various social media is one of our evolutionary adaptations."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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